articles | 30 March 2020

Coronavirus: One new death, 35 new cases, risk ‘extremely high’ virologist says

The health ministry on Sunday announced one new death and 35 new cases of Covid-19 bringing the death toll to six and the total confirmed cases to 214, five of which are in the British bases.

It was the highest jump so far in numbers. Thirty-one of the cases were from contact tracing and two concerned people whose history was being investigated.

Two of the new cases were people who had been in Europe recently.

The death involved a 68-year-old man who was in the Nicosia hospital ICU.

Of the six deaths so far, five were men and one woman with an average age of 64.The ministry earlier said he was the father of a 47-year-old who had also died from the virus but later clarified that he was not.

Member of the government’s advisory body on the pandemic, Dr Leontios Kostrikis, who announced the latest numbers, said that it was difficult to predict the curve at this time.

At the same time, he emphasised that many of the incidents were transmitted through a family environment and said people should avoid large family gatherings.

“Case studies show that the virus was transmitted within the family environment of several patients, indicating that unfortunately no minimum protection measures have been taken,” he said.

Tougher measures to restrict contacts could not be ruled out, he added.

“It makes no sense to confine ourselves to homes, but to organise family gatherings, or games with friends. Every citizen should act responsibly.”

Kostrikis also said that 6,447 samples have been taken until now, 126 of which came through contact tracing. “These infections originated in Cyprus,” he said. Kostrikis also said that so far they have 18 recoveries.

“We appeal to all citizens to be cautious and restrict themselves. The risk remains extremely high”

Okypy’s scientific director for Nicosia, Dr Marios Loizou, who gave the Sunday briefing jointly with Kostrikis, said: “Unfortunately, today in the fight with the pandemic we lost another of our fellow patients in the Nicosia Intensive Care Unit.” Loizou said four of the six patients who died had an underlying health condition.

As of 3pm Sunday, he said,  Famagusta General Hospital, the reference hospital, had 26 cases, five of whom were in ICU. Three people were also discharged from there on Sunday. Nine people are hospitalised, three in the Intensive Care Unit at Limassol General, and there are six in the Nicosia ICU. The condition of these patients to date is stable but critical, Loizou said

“We realise that the conditions we are all going through are difficult,” he said. “We experience it every day. As far as the effects of this disease appear in Cyprus, they simply cease to be just news that we’ve seen on television or read on a website. Our daily lives have been significantly disrupted and anxiety, fear and uncertainty have entered,” he added. “We worry about ourselves and our relatives and friends.”

Loizou said these were scenes being played out around the world.

“Every morning or afternoon when we leave for work, when we close the door, we see the anxiety in the faces of our relatives as we see the joy mixed with sadness when we return home… joy that we come back and sorrow because they don’t know that tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the doctor, the nurse, the lab staff, the assistant, the cleaner, the clerk, the administrator will come back again.”

Loizou lauded the healthcare workers on the front line saying the job was difficult and dangerous and likely to be long-lasting.

He lauded the healthcare workers on the front line saying the job was difficult and dangerous and likely to be long-lasting. “Believe me, because I live it every day. The vast majority give one hundred per cent to this effort and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts,” he said.

“It’s not easy to go to work every day and fight with the invisible and the unexpected.”

Source: Cyprus Mail


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